Former Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his involvement in the January 6, 2021, rally at the United States Capitol, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Prosecutors recommended that Biggs receive 33 years in prison for allegedly leading Proud Boys members near the front of the crowd, breaching police lines, and removing a black metal fence. In May, the U.S. Army veteran was found guilty of seditious conspiracy and obstructing Congress’ certification of Biden’s presidency.
Prosecutor Jason McCullough stated, “There is a reason why we will hold our collective breath as we approach future elections.”
“We never gave it a second thought before January 6th,” McCullough claimed.
In terms of fear, McCullough declared that the protest was “no different than the act of a spectacular bombing of a building,” according to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney.
The prosecution argued that Biggs “perverted” his previous military experience to have a “tactical advantage” during the protest.
To date, Biggs has received the second-longest sentence related to the protest. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy, was previously sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Biggs’ sentence was handed down by District Judge Tim Kelly, appointed by former President Donald Trump.
According to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, Kelly stated that Biggs’ actions that day were not “spontaneous,” but rather a deliberate attempt to advance the crowd toward the Capitol and prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Trump to Joe Biden.
“It’s difficult to imagine a more substantial disruption than the Jan. 6 event. The mob brought an entire branch of government to heel,” Kelly stated.
Kelly agreed to apply the “terrorism” enhancement at the prosecution’s request, significantly increasing Biggs’ prison sentence. However, he also stated that the enhancement “overstated” Biggs’ actions.
The judge claimed it was not his role to label Biggs as a terrorist but noted that “there is a need for deterrence here.” The protest “should not ever happen again and cannot happen again,” he said.
“While blowing up a building in some city somewhere is a very bad act … the constitutional moment we were in that day is something that is so sensitive that it deserves a significant sentence,” Kelly added.
During his sentencing, Biggs stated he is “not a terrorist.”
“I was seduced by the crowd, and I just moved forward. I was curious. I wanted to see what would happen. My curiosity got the best of me, and I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life,” he said. “I don’t have hate in my heart.”
Kelly is also expected to sentence Proud Boys member Zach Rehl on Thursday.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!